An Overview of Concrete Cutting
The time comes when you need to remove concrete or concrete grinding— be it for replacement or for home improvement. During this, you can either saw or drill to remove the concrete. These activities are commonly referred to as concrete cutting.
In doing this, the age of the concrete is a factor. The older the concrete it becomes tougher and difficult to cut.
The process requires special saws and skilled operators. This is because the job needs precision.
This is partly the reason the traditional way has become outdated. The mixture of jackhammers, chisels and hammers and brute strength is noisy, messy and lacks precision. In contrast, modern techniques cut concrete accurately that it doesn’t require any further finishing.
This is done with a variety of saws. What you need depends on the hardness of the concrete. Most concrete cutting jobs are done now using saws that have diamond impregnated teeth. This type uses water to cool the blade and reduce dust nuisance. Another type use vacuum or blowers to capture or blow away the dust.
Why Concrete Cutting Using Diamond Saws are Popular
One reason diamond saws are popular is that it can also cut other materials, like rebars, which are often a part of reinforced concrete. Walls of concrete are cut using circular blades mounted on tracks that allow the equipment to climb the walls. Flat pavements or floors can be cut using saws that are mounted on carts that can be pushed in the required direction by the operator.
Meanwhile, core drilling is done to create openings for pipes and ducts and uses a drill in the form of the core diameter. Large scale commercial cutting of concrete is usually done using wire saws in which wires with tiny diamond segments replace the circular saws of standard concrete cutters. These require careful handling thus must only be entrusted to trained and experienced professionals.
Types of Concrete Cutting Equipment
These concrete cutting equipment can be powered by electricity, an engine, hydraulics or pneumatics. Electrical equipment is the easiest to use, but this doesn’t suit heavy duty work.
Engine powered saws will be heavy and require that the cutter moves carefully. In contrast, hydraulic and pneumatic saws are lighter and have lesser hazards.
The area to be cut on the concrete must be carefully marked. If the depth to be cut is less than four inches, best to use a hand operated cutter. For more than four inches, it is better to use an industrial grade equipment.
Whatever your reason for cutting concrete, your primary concern should be the safety of the workers. Remember that concrete has rebars or any other materials that are embedded. Best to pinpoint where these embedded materials are before starting to cut the concrete.
One more matter you need to address is concrete dust, This can damage lungs and an operator must wear goggles and proper breathing apparatus. Good thing this can be controlled with the use of blowers and vacuum devices.
Moreover, be careful in using water. Since most concrete cutting equipment uses water to cool the blade and reduce dust, you need to ensure that the water is drained properly. Having water near electrical equipment poses the danger of electrocution.